Batch Launches SMS Marketing 🎉 →

Android push: Two more changes to Firebase Cloud Messaging

CRM Strategies

30 Apr 2024 Written by Selma Bennamane

In our article from early 2024, we reminded you that Google Firebase will remove the legacy FCM (Firebase Cloud Messaging) API this coming June. This means accounts using it won't be able to send Android push notifications anymore.

While many companies are currently migrating to the FCM HTTP v1 API ahead of this deadline, Google has made two major changes to this API that require your attention:

  • Speed limit’s reduction in the Android push notifications sending;
  • Upcoming purge of Android push tokens that have been inactive for 9 months, starting May 15th.

Frequent updates from Google or Apple make managing push APIs challenging. Partnering with an external notification provider with CRM expertise and strong ties to platforms like Google Firebase can help navigate these updates smoothly and continuously.

Let's discuss how these updates affect your Android push campaigns and how the Batch platform has been handling these changes for its Android clients.

Reduced sending speed for Android push notifications

In order to regulate their traffic spikes, Google Firebase has established - without further notice - a default rate limit for Android push notifications sendings.

This default rate limit is now 600,000 requests / minute per Firebase project.

When sending messages via the FCM HTTP v1 API, each request consumes a quota of tokens allocated by Google Firebase, which refills every minute. With this rate limit update, this 1-minute quota now has 600.000 tokens.

This means that if you reach this limit of 600.000 requests / minute, your Android push sendings will be automatically rejected.

For most applications, this is the default rate. However, it has been observed that some applications with very high sending volumes have benefited from a higher rate limit (like 1.2 to 1.6 million requests / minute).

Our recommendations on addressing FCM rate limiting

If you're a Batch customer, our platform automatically handles the rate limit and adjusts in real time to changes in Google's default rate. Remember, Batch's default rate is 1M requests per minute for each app.

You can discover your FCM quota via this link or by going to Google Cloud Console > Select your FCM project > APIs & Services > Firebase Cloud Messaging API > Quotas & System Limits.

If you wish to increase your rate, we invite you to contact your Batch contact. They will guide you through the process, assist in adjusting it, and help connect you with Google Firebase Customer Service.

Starting May 15th: Google Firebase enforces its purge of inactive Android push tokens

Previously, Google Firebase could unregister push tokens when apps were uninstalled, allowing your token base to grow steadily.

As a reminder, a push token is the unique address that allows a notification to be sent to a device, which Batch stores on its servers.

A few weeks ago, Google Firebase announced a consequential policy change in managing inactive push tokens.

Starting May 15, 2024, any push token from a device that remains inactive for more than 270 days (i.e. 9 months) will be considered expired. FCM will then mark the token as invalid and reject any submissions. From this date, Google Firebase will implement a purge of inactive push tokens, starting with a massive catch-up and then on an ongoing basis.

If you use the Firebase Cloud Messaging HTTP v1 API, this update will directly affect your Android push strategy as it is likely to reduce the number of valid push tokens you have.

Our recommendations on push token management

To cope with this major FCM update, we recommend you to adopt these two best practices:

  1. Contact your Android push notification CRM solution if they can automatically request refreshed tokens every time an app is opened, making sure the correct token is in the database, in case Google has changed it. In the case of Batch customers, the good news is that Batch SDK has always been taking care of updating and cleaning your users’ tokens (see Batch Help article).
  2. Integrate this update into your Android campaign performance analysis if you are already using the FCM HTTP v1 API. As mentioned, if you observe a significant drop of your Android push token base in the coming weeks, this would be likely because of the Google Firebase intactive token purge implementation.

Don’t forget your mandatory migration to the Firebase Cloud Messaging HTTP v1 API before June 2024

If your team has not done the migration to HTTP v1 API yet, we kindly remind you that you need to make it as soon as possible, because Google Firebase will be removing the legacy API this coming June.

After this deadline, all Android push messaging will only rely on the FCM HTTP v1 API, and all accounts that are still on the depreciated legacy API will no longer be able to send Android push notifications.

To the Batch customers who have not yet migrated to the FCM HTTP v1 API: we strongly invite you to contact your Batch Customer Services team. They will be happy to assist you and provide you with all the resources that have enabled hundreds of Batch customers to successfully migrate to the FCM HTTP v1 API. Here are some useful links:

Selma Bennamane

Senior Solutions Engineer @ Batch (Project Management Professional Certified)

Reading time

Follow us

linkedin icontwitter iconyoutube iconwttj icon

The CRM Newsletter

Subscribe to get the latest news in your inbox!